Seventeenth Heaven: Review
Source: Pledis Entertainment 2023
Seventeen, the 13-piece group from South Korea, released their 11th mini album, Seventeenth Heaven, on October 23rd. Following their record-breaking 10th mini album, FML, which dropped in April and was the best-selling album in South Korea of all time, Seventeen have broken records yet again. The album recorded over 5.2 million pre-orders, breaking the previous record. The title track “God of Music” became the first and only male idol group song to top the Melon TOP100 chart, the largest streaming service in South Korea. Seventeenth Heaven includes seven tracks and one instrumental, all songs written and produced by the members themselves. Woozi, leader of the vocal unit, is the main producer of Seventeen, having credits in lyrics for all 7 songs and production credits for 6. The members of Seventeen are heavily involved in all their music, one of their many charms. Seventeenth Heaven is an all-around excellent album, with something for everybody.
SOS (Prod. Marshmello)
Starting off the album is an upbeat song with the message of perseverance. Vernon starts off the song with thoughts we all have had at some point in our lives:
“Day to day to day, it's like we're an infinite roulette
Spin it, spin it, spin it, now, who's the next target?”
The song continues with its message of trying to break away from the mundane routines we find ourselves trapped in and that there is more waiting for you in the future. Having a support system and friends to rely on and knowing that today is not the end can create a much better environment and mindset, and that is what Seventeen was aiming to deliver.
God Of Music (Title Track)
Contrary to what the title may suggest, Seventeen are not proclaiming themselves as the gods of music; instead, they are thanking this theoretical god for creating and making music a part of their world.
“We can't communicate with words. But with music, we can be best friends from now on”
The song is filled with lots of brass instrumentals and horns, reminiscent of a grand festival entrance. A bright, jovial song to set the mood for the album, entering the rest of the Seventeen Festival.
Giving older fans a glimpse into the past, "Diamond Days" samples a track from Seventeen’s pre-debut days, "Shining Diamond." Hearing the mantra “Slip into the diamond life” in the song again for the first time since 2015 is a perfect way to start the song that pays tribute to the group's beginnings.
“A promise that shines brightly
A promise I said I'd put on your finger
My heart's still unchanged
It's the same as the beginning
I'll remember the first day of us.”
One of the unique things about Seventeen and their start was the rings they received to signify their successful debut. These rings have been changed out with new ones every time they release a full album, with their newest rings being given to them with the release of Face the Sun last year. A truly full-circle moment that encompasses all the feeling “Shining Diamond” gave fans eight years earlier.
As mentioned earlier briefly, Seventeen has three units: performance, hip-hop, and vocal. These units have their own songs to showcase themselves individually within albums alongside the group tracks. "Back2Back" is a song done by the performance unit. The track combines sounds of both EDM and R&B, styles the performance unit has dabbled in before with “Highlight” and “I Don’t Understand But I Luv U.” The song’s message is to do what you love with no regrets with the people you love.
“Because it's you, win or die here
You know what, I don't regret it
Because I was the one who ran to you”
Hip-hop units have their unit track up next, and it lives up to the title. Creepy Halloween soundtrack music is the highlight of the production, a very fitting vibe for a late October release. Produced by Vernon, the track was written by each member of the unit as well. The song serves as a reminder to those who continue to look down on Seventeen; they continue to rise to the top and have yet to slow down.
“Pull up in an all black roadster
Now my life is like a pop star
If you don't believe, come to our concert
Everyone calls me monster”
The vocal unit’s ballads are always going to leave the listener blown away, either in happiness or in tears. “Yawn” is the latter. Written solely by Woozi, the song encapsulates the feelings of emptiness due to losing someone, as well as not being too hard on oneself for taking care of their own heartache. The unit’s vocals over the piano really seal the fate of the song as one of Seventeen’s best ballads to date, a heart-wrenching yet gentle reminder to let yourself breathe.
“There's no way I wouldn't know
Because you are my breath
Do not feel sorry
It's just like a yawn when it is not enough”
The concluding song of the album circles back to all members and is the perfect ending song to fit the festival theme. A song about love and waiting for the ones who mean the most to you, no matter what stands in your way. It wraps the album up nicely and is a good segue from “Yawn.” The song also stands for everything Seventeen does: loving those around you with everything you have, staying with them no matter what they are going through, and making sure they know you will be with them until the end.
“This moment when we shine together
Become the courage of countless tomorrows
Even if another rainy day comes
I'll be first in line for you”
Seventeenth Heaven truly lived up to the hype the group created with FML, and the album is a great reminder to keep those you love near and dear to you and to just have fun.
Author’s Top 3:
“Monster” (Perhaps I am biased, since I love everything Vernon has produced)
“God of Music”
Source: Pledis Entertainment 2023
Lyric Translations from Genius